Smith ranks third in NFL in passing


Smith ranks third in NFL in passing

For the first time in his career, quarterback Alex Smith was removed from a game because of success.

When the 49ers took over with 9:57 remaining, rookie Colin Kaepernick entered in a mop-up role with his team leading 41-3. Kaepernick completed 3 of 3 pass attempts for 35 yards.

Entering the Monday night game, Alex Smith ranks third in the NFL with a 104.1 passer rating. Aaron Rodgers (122.9) and Tom Brady (109.5) are ahead of him. Detroit's Matthew Stafford, whose team plays the Chicago Bears, is sixth at 100.3.Here are some other quick-hitters a day after the 49ers' 48-3 win Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
--For the second week in a row, the 49ers' next opponent plays on a Monday night. The Lions (4-0) are one of two unbeaten teams in the NFL, entering the game against Chicago.--Third running back Anthony Dixon did not see any snaps on offense until the final drive. He carried twice for 4 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run.--Guard Adam Snyder took over in the blocking-back position that nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga filled the previous two games. Sopoaga missed Sunday's game with a staph infection.--Receiver Michael Crabtree caught two passes for 36 yards, but he also did a fine job as a blocker. On an end-around in which Ted Ginn gained 24 yards, Crabtree knocked cornerback Ronde Barber out of the play and then got a shoulder on linebacker Dekoda Watson, knocking him to the ground. "Teddy and Josh Morgan are like my brothers," Crabtree said. "When they have the ball, I'm going to do the best I can to block and make that play go further."--Cornerback Shawntae Spencer did not play after missing most of last week's practice time with a toe injury. Rookie Chris Culliver was the 49ers' No. 3 cornerback and played -- and played well -- in all nickel situations. He recorded his first career interception.--Rookie defensive end Aldon Smith remained in his role as a nickel pass rusher, and he picked up two sacks. The No. 7 overall pick now has a team-leading 3.5 sacks -- all in the past two games.--Punter Andy Lee was used only once. Near the end of the first half, he landed a 38-yard punt at the Tampa Bay 5-yard line, where Preston Parker ill-advisedly made a fair catch.--Linebacker Patrick Willis recorded 12 tackles, which is a good sign for nose tackle Ricky Jean Francois, making his first NFL start. It demonstrates that Jean Francois was tying up enough blockers to allow Willis to make plays. RJF also added three tackles while playing every snap of base defense.--David Akers was 2-for-2 on field-goal attempts. He also made a kick from 46 yards early in the fourth quarter. But the 49ers removed those points from the board to accept a 15-yard leverage penalty on Watson, who used another player to spring higher in an attempt to block the kick. On the next play, Alex Smith hit Vernon Davis for a 14-yard touchdown.

Report: Shanahan 'almost certain' to accept 49ers' offer

Report: Shanahan 'almost certain' to accept 49ers' offer

Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is reportedly “almost certain” to accept the 49ers’ offer to become head coach.

Shanahan is the lone remaining candidate among the six individuals who interviewed with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe. The 49ers plan for a second interview with Shanahan and a job offer, a source told Shanahan is expected to accept the 49ers’ offer, reports Michael Silver of the NFL Network, citing sources familiar with both parties.

The 49ers continued to work Tuesday evening on the process of narrowing down the general manager choices, a source said. Shanahan is expected to play a role in the select the team’s next GM, sources said.

On Tuesday, Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable and Seahawks co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner removed their names from consideration for the vacant coach and general manager positions. The 49ers fired Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke after the 49ers' 2-14 season.

One source said Cable and Kirchner believed the 49ers were using them as leverage to hire Shanahan. Cable interviewed with 49ers co-chair Denise DeBartolo York over the phone on Tuesday, NFL Network reported.

The 49ers are allowed to interview Shanahan for a second time after the Falcons’ NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The 49ers are prohibited from hiring or making a formal contract offer to Shanahan until the Falcons' season has concluded.

The top remaining candidates for the general manager job are believed to be Green Bay executives Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf, Arizona's Terry McDonough and Minnesota's George Paton.

Source: 49ers plan second interview with Shanahan; Cable withdraws name

Source: 49ers plan second interview with Shanahan; Cable withdraws name

The 49ers will interview Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan after this weekend’s NFC Championship game, a source told on Tuesday.

The only remaining head-coach candidate, Tom Cable, formally withdrew from consideration, according to his agent, Doug Hendrickson. Cable interviewed with the 49ers on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the 49ers also have a general manager vacancy to fill. The team is in the process of narrowing down their list of eight candidates, a source said. Seattle’s Trent Kirchner pulled his name from consideration on Tuesday. The 49ers could have a round of second interviews for the GM job.

The 49ers fired coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke after the club finished the regular season with a 2-14 record.

The 49ers conducted their first interview with Shanahan on Jan. 6, as allowed by NFL rules, when the Falcons were on their bye in the first week of the playoffs as the NFC’s No. 2 seed.

The 49ers are allowed to conduct a second interview with Shanahan next week, regardless of whether the Falcons advance to the Super Bowl or their season comes to a conclusion against the Green Bay Packers.

If the Falcons advance to the Super Bowl, the 49ers would not be able to make a formal contract offer to Shanahan until following the Super Bowl.

Shanahan, 37, is the son for two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Shanahan. He has served nine NFL seasons as an offensive coordinator. His offenses have ranked in the top-10 of total offense in six of those seasons.

Shanahan interviewed for the head-coaching vacancies with Jacksonville and Denver this offseason. Another scheduled interview with the Los Angeles Rams was canceled when Rams officials could not get to Atlanta due to weather conditions.